Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) of hyperpolarized 13C pyruvate and its metabolites in large animal models is a powerful tool for assessing cardiac metabolism in patho-physiological conditions. In 13C studies, a high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is crucial to overcome the intrinsic data quality limitation due to the low molar concentration of certain metabolites as well as the low flux of conversion. Since 13C-MRS is essentially a semi-quantitative technique, the SNR of the spectra acquired in different myocardial segments should be homogeneous. MRS coil design plays an important role in achieving both targets. In this study, a 16-channel receive surface coil was designed for 13C hyperpolarized studies of the pig heart with a clinical 3-T scanner. The coil performance was characterized by phantom experiments and compared with that of a birdcage coil used in transmit/receive mode. Segmental signal distribution in the left ventricle (LV) was assessed by experiments on six healthy mini pigs. The proposed coil showed a significant increase in SNR for the LV wall close to the coil surface with respect to that for the birdcage but also significant segmental inhomogeneity. Hence, the use of the 16-channel coil is recommended for studies of septal and anterior LV walls.